Not for the first time, someone asked me recently if I was surprised, in the context of a conversation about my girlfriend.
Am I surprised that I have a girlfriend? No.
Am I surprised that I’m gay? No.
So obviously, regardless of what exactly she was trying to ask me, the answer was no; I tried to casually explain that it was more of a personal acceptance thing and she couldn’t seem to help but prod a little deeper, asking me if I had a feeling, when I left my ex-husband “that was the way it would go”?
And although I answered her and I laughed (a lot) about the whole conversation later, I can’t help but wonder why anyone would feel that asking me about the state of my sexuality, when I walking away from a 14 year relationship, would be appropriate.
This woman is not my friend, she is an acquaintance at best; she too is divorced and has a much younger fiance but I can’t imagine asking her if she had a feeling she might date a younger man when she was leaving her husband.
In another, unrelated, conversation with someone else it was suggested that perhaps I was bisexual, immediately after I explained I had no desire to date men. I assured her, that although I had believed I was bisexual for many years, it is simply not the case.
Again, I can’t help but wonder why she felt that was an appropriate comment and what she thought she was adding to the conversation. Did she imagine I’d never heard of bisexuals or that in accepting that I was gay I hadn’t put significant thought into what that meant?
I am honest to a fault and I am an open book to just about anyone who is brave enough to ask me the questions to which they desire answers. And so I will continue to have these conversations as they present themselves and I hope that speaking my truth will help, at least a few people, understand. Although I was married to a man for a long time, it was not a surprise to me, that I am gay. I did not wake up one morning and simply discover a rainbow filled world.
For years I told myself that I didn’t discriminate and that I was attracted to people regardless of gender. I told myself that even though the intimacy and connection that I could find with a woman alluded me in all of my heterosexual relationships, I couldn’t be a lesbian because I didn’t hate traditional sex.
I had to work through those misconceptions and I had to understand and accept my own desires. My sexuality belongs to me and accepting that I’m gay didn’t surprise me at all; what has surprised me however, was how much accepting my gay has empowered me.